- Activity Level: high
- Grooming Level: low
- Trainability: moderate
- Adaptability: low
- Kid/Pet Friendly: often
- Average Size: Large
- Average Lifespan: 8-11 years
- Prey Drive: low
- Watchdog: very alert
- Registered?: aca, akc
Rottweiler Breed Profile
The powerful and loyal Rottweiler is an AKC-recognized working breed first recognized by the club in 1931. A hard-working and intelligent dog breed, the Rottweiler is a top-tier police, service, or guard dog. The history of the Rottweiler dates back as far as the Roman Empire, where the durable canine’s likely ancestors were used as Cattle Drovers to assist in keeping herds under control and guarding them against predators. The Rottweiler also served heavily in WWI as a police and security dog. Over the years, the dog breed has enjoyed varied popularity, even reaching the top of the AKC’s Most Registered Dog Breed list in the mid-1990s.
The temperament of the Rottweiler is largely based on its owner, and its owner’s willingness to properly socialize the dog as a puppy. A normally calm and rather aloof dog breed, the Rottweiler can be as sweet-natured as it is protective. Because of its powerful physical abilities, a Rottie can carry an incredible presence as a watchdog and is as equally alert as any breed. The key to a well-balanced and friendly Rottweiler is showing proper respect to the nature of this working breed, building a relationship based on love and trust, and never using fear as a training tool.
While this is a physically imposing dog breed, it’s important to be aware of their sensitive nature. They do not tolerate extreme temperatures very well, especially heat. And, they definitely will not be a well-balanced or well-behaved dog if left alone for long periods of time. If you live in an apartment, this dog breed is not for you because they prefer lots of space. Although generally friendly, they will be skeptical of large crowds of strangers and noisy environments.
Health concerns for the Rottweiler are very similar to other large or giant dog breeds, starting with joint problems. Hip and Elbow Dysplasia are one of the most common ailments in this breed, as it is with other large breeds. Another illness that seems to strike large and giant breeds of dogs is Osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer. Some of these health concerns can be allayed due to the genetic history of the parents and certain health checks.
If you are a first-time dog owner, this dog breed may be a challenge. Although very intelligent, they are a dog that requires the presence of a strong pack Alpha or they will attempt to assume that role.Obedience training is a good idea for owners who are not heavily experienced in training dogs.
Smart and willing to please, the Rottweiler is a highly trainable dog breed. Begin this breed’s training as soon as you bring the puppy into your home. This will help avoid the development of any bad habits.
It will also be vital to curb this large dog’s want to bark and howl early in life, as the larger they get, the more it can become a nuisance. Make sure you properly train this dog breed to be comfortable on the leash. Otherwise, the powerful Rottweiler will be walking you!
The Rottweiler has a dense, double coat that is often black with brown on the legs, face, and chest. You should brush your Rottweiler once a week at least to keep their coat healthy and reduce shedding. As with all dogs, get your Rottweiler puppy used to tooth brushing and nail trimming early, so you will be able to keep up with proper oral hygiene and healthy nails throughout your Rottie’s life.
The Rottweiler is a working breed, so it will need exercise regularly and plenty of it. While the Rottweiler’s energy level will not run you ragged, it is important to keep this breed active to keep its weight under control. An overweight Rottie is more likely to suffer from joint issues later in life than a dog that is well-conditioned at a healthy weight. It’s also important to give this dog a job to do, whether it’s ongoing training, dog sports, or something else. As a working breed, they are happiest when they have a job.
A Rottweiler will usually stand between 23 and 28 inches tall at the shoulder and weight between 75 and 130 pounds.
This dog breed generally lives 8 to 11 years.